Small Business POPI Course by email
This free course
from Peter Carruthers deals with how we small-business owners will be hurt by
the new Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).
What is POPI, and why does
it matter to small business?
POPI (or POPIA) is a new SA law to protect your personal information (and mine).
It's not a SA Govt conniption. Rather it is the local version of similar laws
in 80+ countries. Our version has a few quirks, discussed during this course. SA
needs to conform to international practice. If we don't, our IT industry will
The Act was passed in 2013. The long lead-in time is to allow corporates to
change their ways. Big firms have thousands of PCs connected to mainframes and
thousands of people logging into their systems each day. Those systems, like
yours and mine, were designed to cost as little as possible. So they ignored
security. Not deliberately, but because it was an expense they did not need to
worry about. Just as we ignore security now.
2017 is different. Massive data breaches get lots of airtime: Equifax in the USA
or our current 63 million-record scandal. It's tempting to think that big firms
are the only ones losing data, but small firms have breaches too. 95 out of
every 100 businesses have fewer than 5 staff. We too lose laptops and tablets
and phones. Or they get stolen. And if we have staff they too steal client lists
when they leave. We don't report it because we don't have to. That's about to
The POPI Act demands that
we take care of the info we hold about others. Just as we want
others to look after info they hold about us.
The POPI Act has a big stick to beat us into compliance: a R10 million fine
(payable from after-tax income) and/or 10 years jail time, is a good reason not
to mess around.
We small players will be held to the same standards as corporates. The day we
find we've been breached, Govt will want to see proof of our innocence. Until
recently Govt was coasting towards announcing a deadline in May 2018. This
recent breach is probably going to lead to more urgent action. If it
sounds overwhelming, it is. Nevertheless, you are not alone. There are
Click here to enrol for free in the twelve-part POPI
All the best from Rick at megaplex.co.za,
the most helpful website for shops in Sandton.
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